The new Kaluna pedal from German brand Vahlbruch is a tube-based circuit overdrive that’s wrapped up in a sparkling gold finish, and promises tonal nirvana. But do you really need a tube-drive overdrive? Read on to find out.
Vahlbruch is a one-man operation based in Springe near Hanover, Germany, that makes boutique effects pedals by hand. As a result, they are made to a high standard, and with a lot of care and attention, especially when compared to the mass produced cookie-cutter drivel churned out on some factory assembly lines .
The Kaluna is the company’s newest tube-driven overdrive pedal and comes installed with a 12AX7 valve. It has controls for VOLUME and DRIVE, as well as an active 3-band EQ with 12 dB boost or cut. This simple and intuitive layout should make dialling-in this valve-based overdrive a breeze.
The pedal uses an external 9 volt power supply that is boosted internally up to 250 volts which then floods the 12AX7 tube with enough juice to make it sing. In theory, this should help with playing dynamics and the overall feel of the pedal.
It also features a MagTraB switch, which is a noiseless and click-free footswitch that triggers a relay to switch with a magnet, thus eliminating any noise when engaging the effect.
If you haven’t tried out a valve based overdrive yet, the Kaluna might be worth a punt. I would also suggest you check out the Friedman Motor City Drive. I own one and it does an excellent job of providing nice articulate drive tones, with plenty of warmth.
You can hear the Vahlbruch Kaluna in action in the demo videos below, or follow the link to order one directly form the company’s website.
RRP – EUR 339